Four Favourite Castles in North Wales

 North Wales, home of ‘The Iron Ring’, is renowned for its collection of incredible castles, which are interesting to explore and perfect for a fantastic day out that the whole family can enjoy. We look at four of our favourite castles near to our North Wales Caravan ParksConwy CastleBuilt in the 13th-century for Edward I, this exceptional castle is one of the few remaining medieval fortifications in the country still standing strong. With the Conwy estuary on one side, the castle sits on a rocky base, with battlemented walls and fortified gateways; perfect for keeping intruders of the past out! Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors are welcomed to enter the castle and explore the well-preserved walls and towers, of which there are eight. The whole town is walled, meaning that you can take a stroll along the battlements around the entire town, and really take in the scenery. With the sea on one side and the mountains on the other, these are some breathtaking views to behold. The interior is somehow a match for the incredible scenery outside. You’ll feel the immense grandeur of the castle as you investigate the great hall, private chambers and royal chapel. Wander through each room, and your imagination will take you back to the splendour of the original medieval magic. Costing £15,000 to build, back in the 1200s, this was actually the largest sum spent by Edward I on any one castle; we would love a castle for that in today’s money! Gwrych CastleConstruction on Gwyrch castle began in 1812 and was finished ten years later, with extra features being added on through to the 1870s. Its history has become richer over the past century, as the castle was used as a place of refuge for Jewish families during the Second World War. Perhaps best known as the set of Prince Valiant, the 1996 film featuring Joanna Lumley and Edward Fox. The towers and gardens of the castle, however, had been left somewhat in rack and ruin, and the castle was left in a state that meant it was not able to be open to the public. Thankfully, a restoration project started twenty years ago has brought the castle back from the brink. The 400 members and 100 volunteers of the Gwyrch Castle Preservation Trust have restored it back to its former glory, or at least 80% of it! Their hard work has meant that the castle can now be enjoyed by those who want to go and give it a visit. Caernarfon CastleAnother of King Edward I’s incredibly impressive castles in North Wales, Caernarfon Castle is certainly a sight to behold. This vast fortress sits by the coast, and along the banks of the River Seiont, providing some stunning views. This castle is unique in more ways than just its size. While most castles are known for their round towers, like those on Edward I’s other ‘iron ring’ castles, this one couldn’t settle for the ordinary. Some are hexagonal, other octagonal, and one, the phenomenally large Eagle Tower, has ten sides! In it’s prime, this tower would have stood with three floors, an abundance of annexes and décor incorporating stone eagles, hence it’s name. Beaumaris CastleBeaumaris is the last castle built by Edward I in Wales, and as such was never completed, as the money ran dry before the fortifications reached the imposing heights they had been planned to. Despite this, Beaumaris is known as the most technically perfect castle, with ideal proportions and impeccable symmetry; truly a magnificent sight. Seven centuries ago, as the construction on the castle commenced, the planned structure was so enormous that the entire population of Llanfaes was forced to move 12 miles away to Newborough in order to make room for Edward’s new project. The choice of location certainly paid off though, as now this picture-perfect castle stands partially surrounded by a moat, and overlooks the mountains and sea, creating a stunning scene that you’ll want to come back to see again and again. This year, on the 25th November, you can experience the fun of a Victorian Christmas at Beaumaris, with dressing-up and musical entertainment, making it a great experience for the whole family! With the weather getting colder, these castles will look even more beautiful in the snowy weather, and even more dramatic when the winter skies get darker, so let your imagination take you on a magical journey around these fantastic castles when you stay with us.

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